Is $41,000 Too Much For A Chevy Volt?

After months of speculation about what price General Motors would slap on its first electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt, we finally have an answer, and it’s an expensive one. The Chevy — oops, we mean Chevrolet — vehicle will debut with a price tag of $41,000.

That puts the Volt squarely in the luxury range of GM vehicles, somewhere between the Cadillac CTS and the Corvette Coupe.

Knocking down the price a bit for buyers is the $7,500 federal tax credit for Volt buyers. Additionally, a number of states are offering their own tax incentives for car buyers who go electric.

A few weeks ago, our test track cousins at Consumer Reports got their hands on a Volt for testing purposes and came up with a “not bad” assessment after some hands-on driving.

But what do you think? Is a $41,000 car (or even a $33,500 one) the right way to introduce electric cars to the mass market? Or is it better to keep this market small until the technology has been developed further?

Chevy prices Volt at $41,000 []


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  1. amd555 says:

    i’ll wait for ver 2.o or used 1.0 LOL

    • valladolid says:

      At these prices, I wonder if they’re trying to make sure there is no version 2.0…

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        You win the thread. I just posted a longer rant along these lines, but you were first.

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      I’ll wait for the 10-15 grand version…. I might have to wait a long, long time…

  2. jefeloco says:

    It is priced about 15-20K over where it should be on the market. I don’t know anyone willing to pay 40 grand on an economy sedan.

    • vision646 says:

      R&D isn’t free you know, and since it is one of the first of its kind those costs are significantly more than your typical car.

      • frank64 says:

        Doesn’t change the equation for most consumers. Early adopters will pay for it, and later 5 years or so from now, when the price comes down we will too.

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        Toyota ate the R&D cost for the Prius. Now they sell hundreds of thousands of them a year, and actually make money.

        • TheSpatulaOfLove says:

          Not necessarily – the Japanese government has been rumored to have secretly subsidized the development, as claimed by James Press (former president of Toyota NA). After his statement, his hand was slapped, and he retracted the bold statement leaving a murky explanation.

          Considering the negative press Toyota has received about hiding things lately, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Japanese government did in fact subsidize and Toyota is trying to save face.

      • dolemite says:

        I’d like to know how much of R&D came from taxpayer money. “Every American gets a coupon for $5,000 off their next Volt purchase!”

      • jefeloco says:

        That is true but it doesn’t matter to me unless I want to one-up my neighbor on greeniness. Most people will never even keep a hybrid long enough to equalize the cost difference through savings at the pump and hybrids only cost a few thousand more than straight up gas vehicles. I would have to wait and see how long it would take to make up the disparity in an EREV before I would ever consider plonking an extra 15-20k on one.

        My 2005 Corolla averages 37mpg for me and I would have a really hard time beating that with any current hybrid (considering the cost of the Corolla vs. the cost of any hybrid currently for sale). I don’t know if any of you watch Top Gear, but they ran a Prius around their track followed by a 400hp BMW M3. They speed matched the two cars so that one was not being pushed to higher speeds through the turns. The Prius, when driven spryly, returned 17+/- mpg, the M3 returned 19+/-.

        How you drive matters more than what you drive and you will never break even on a 20K premium before the car wore out or you sold it.

    • soldstatic says:

      exactly my thoughts. The savings in fuel costs you keep won’t even let you recoup the extra cost until far after the car has fallen apart beyond repair.

      Most hybrids even are too expensive imho. You barely make your extra investment back on them.

      I guess it comes down to how much you’d value the good karma feeling you get by driving one at.

    • sleze69 says:

      Everyone would love to be able to use a car that gets outrageous gas mileage. Unfortunately the VAST majority of us won’t pay 1.5-2X the cost of what it should be.

      The lease price is fairly reasonable but buying a $41k car with ZERO resale value after 8 years/100k miles is a pretty bad deal (resale value minus the cost of new batteries).

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Citations needed.

        • ShruggingGalt says:


          We know that batteries don’t last forever. How long does your cell phone battery last? Laptop?

          We also know that the buyer will be responsible for environmental disposal charges if it even gets to the end of its’ useful life. You’ll probably have to pay a scrap metal company to take it away. Because they will have to find a way to recycle/dispose of legally the battery.

          • Chmeeee says:

            I would imagine at that point there would be a battery replacement program which would be partially paid for by the salvage value of the old batteries. The vast majority of the material within the battery can be salvaged for use within new batteries, they’d be fools to let that go to waste.

            • sleze69 says:

              Priuses have been around for about 10 years. There are no battery trade-ins for them yet.

              • Orv says:

                I think that’s because very few of them have needed new batteries. Heck, there are still original Honda Insights running around on their original battery packs.

      • OMAC says:

        The problem is that most people that are mileage-conscious, like me, can’t justify spending huge wads of cash just to get good gas mileage. My current car gets 30 MPG on the highway and cost me $15,000. When I can get an electric car or hybrid that gets better mileage at the same price then I will get one.

    • Snoofin says:

      I wouldnt pay even $5000 for this tiny, slow, death trap that you cant drive much more than going to work without having to plug it in and wait for it to recharge.

      • ARP says:

        It has an engine that powers the batteries after they run down. It has a total range of a few hundred miles. Are you saying you commute 200 miles to work each way?

        Where are your cites to its death-trappiness?

        • Snoofin says:

          It is small and made of plastic, therefore if you get in an accident it will crush you. No cites are needed, just common sense.

          • ARP says:

            Saturns are made of plastic, so are lots of other cars, it doesn’t make them less safe. They have steel body cages.

            I know you hate government and all, but thanks to them, there are minimum safety standards all cars must meet, even the Volt.

          • LinebackerU says:

            Military aircraft are largely made of plastic these days.

            • Snoofin says:

              Military aircraft are much bigger and heavier than a Volt as well so that argument doesnt hold up

          • shepd says:

            Do you really think 1/8″ thick steel will protect you from anything? It can barely stop a BB (polycarbonate, ie: plastic can do the same). It doesn’t stop a 9 mm bullet at all (neither does plastic). In a fit of insanity I pushed a shopping cart with my 10 year old rustbox while parallel parking and the shopping cart nearly won (left a larger than a football sized dent in the car, the shopping cart didn’t even get slightly bent). The plastic car would have merely been scratched.

            I dare say the plastic car is safer as long as it has the same reinforcing structure as my car (in fact, it will by law).

          • Riff Raff says:

            Saturn’s “space age” plastic was awesome, but inherently flawed. It was obviously rust-proof, but the problems outweighed the benefits. It was prone to cracking rather than denting. It was also more difficult to mold and shape. The automaker eventually dropped it in favor of traditional steel in the later years.

            It was still no more safer or deadly than steel sheets used on today’s cars. The fallacy that plastic bodies on cars are inherently dangerous is retarded. It is likely one of the many things that led to Saturn’s demise.

        • hansolo247 says:

          Lithium Ion Batteries

          They ‘splode when ruptured.

          • catnapped says:

            Good gosh you’re right! Everyone knows that regular cars don’t explode when crushed!


            • ktetch says:

              You can puncture your fuel tank, and it won’t explode (and actually a full tank is safer than one thats just about empty).

              You puncture a lithium battery, it’s going to burn, or explode. Basic chemistry lessons should have covered the reactivity series (in the UK, i was taught it at the start of year 8, thats Grade 7 in US terms) – group 1 and 2 metals, their reactions with water, acid, oxidisation, etc.Moisture in air+lithium = oxidisation, not so bad. HEAT+moisture+lithium = bad. If the fire brigade doesn’t know, and uses a water hose, or it’s raining etc. KABOOM. (it makes hydrogen as well)

              Here’s a demonstration of a LiIon fire just with a notebook battery shorted out –

              Here’s a lipoly cellphone battery being punctured –

              • Chmeeee says:

                Too bad the engineers didn’t think of that, huh? Oh wait, they did. (sorry, I’m a snarky ass today)

                The batteries in the Volt have been engineered for impact and puncture safety. They won’t burn or explode in a crash.

        • dadelus says:

          Actually, as long as you can get to a gas station the Volts range is effectively unlimited.

      • pzer0 says:

        Every time there’s an article about electric cars or hybrids, I see people that post completely wrong information that has no basis in reality. Do you know how to look things up on Google?

    • lincolnparadox says:

      I can convert my Buick LeSabre to electric for $25K.

      The Volt’s price tag is prohibitive.

  3. Laffy Daffy says:

    Wow, what a buzz kill. Too bad.

  4. slim150 says:

    This is kind of off topic, but don’t you think Chevrolet and Ford would do much better in the 20s-30s market if they didn’t have such a huge and ugly logo on their cars? I swear if all they need is a clever modern logo and sleeker names (unlike ford fiesta, wtf) and they would do much better!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The Chevy logo is miles better than the Ford logo. I’m even willing to overlook the logo on the new Camaro since it’s such a sleek car.

      • mac-phisto says:

        bowties are soooo 1920’s. why can’t they just make them smaller? the camaro bowtie is freaking ginormous. even if i were dumb enough to drop almost as much on a vette to buy a camaro, i’d have to tear that thing off & put an SS in it’s place.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      Thank you for being off topic. I hate the new grilles on Fords that like like metallic venetian blinds. I would consider the Ford Edge, except I can’t get past the grill ugliness.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’m so glad someone else hates them too. They look like disposable razor heads to me. Introducing the Ford Gilette!

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        If you don’t actually need the grille to be open there, why style it at all? Why not make the nose smooth and round and knock a couple hundredths of a point off the drag coefficient?

      • prizgrizbiz says:

        So buy one and have a shop put on a mesh one or whatever. People customize their cars all the time. Go where the rice burners go for mods.

    • redrover189 says:

      I don’t know…I’m in my mid-20’s and I pre-ordered the Ford Fiesta after doing a ton of research about what I was looking for in a car. In my experience, not every young person is concerned about a car’s branding or name. I was pleased with the gas mileage and car size, plus I thought it was fun and sporty looking while still being affordable. I absolutely love my car.

      While the Volt is intriguing, I wouldn’t purchase it. Not because the Chevy styling is not “hip” enough for me – because I feel it is overpriced. The target audience is definitely not a young person and that’s based on the financial aspect only.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Ford Fiesta is a comeback car, like the Charger (stupid name) and Challenger (stupid name). Not really sure that anyone has nostalgic pangs for the Ford Fiesta, so I’m not sure why they wouldn’t have just called it something else. But yeah. That’s why it’s called the Ford Fiesta

      • redrover189 says:

        To be fair, my generation doesn’t have any association with the tragic Fiesta of the 70’s. And the “new” Fiesta has actually been extremely popular over in Europe for some time.

        I understand what you mean about the name, it’s a little weird they’d keep it. But then again, with the whole Ford loving their F names and everything, maybe there’s a real reason for it. Or maybe they just aren’t creative.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        The difference being that the original 60’s and 70’s Challengers and Chargers were super cool muscle cars, whereas the original Fiesta looked like something a cartoon mouse might drive around a town made out of gumdrops.

      • shepd says:

        Be thankful it’s not the Festiva.

    • SubPrimeLender says:

      Dont forget Caddy logo – terrible !!

    • mac-phisto says:

      i think they’d do much better in the 20-30’s market if their cars weren’t about $10k more than they should be (particularly coupes – cars designed for 20-30 somethings), but you’re right – the logo doesn’t help.

      infiniti – hands down best car logo (ok, maybe that actually goes to ferrari, but infiniti is a close second).

      • Chmeeee says:

        Except for the fact that the vast majority of the product lines are priced at or below the competition…

      • moofie says:

        So you think the Mustang should start at $12k? Are you crazy?

        • mac-phisto says:

          a stripped v6 mustang shouldn’t be $23k. should it be $12k? no, but i’d say $16-17k is the appropriate price point.

  5. blinky says:

    strikes me that the $41K price tag will certainly keep the market small.

    Toyota made a decision to underprice the Prius so that time and volume production would drive the price down. Good luck, volt.

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Sounds about right for a new technology. It will drop in price eventually.

    • Griking says:

      So basically I save $10,000 – $2000 in gas and pay $20,000 more for the vehicle?

      Why bother?

    • Sarge says:

      about the only thing really “new” about the Volt is that the electric motor is the ONLY actual propulsion…..the gas motor only serves as a generator (as I understand the vehicle setup)

      I’ll stick with my new Kia Forte…34-35 MPG (yes, very anally tracked lol) and put the other 20K I didn’t spend in the bank…..

    • Papa Midnight says:

      There’s absolutely nothing new about this car nor is it the first time an electric car has been introduced to market. Apparently everyone has very short-term memory with regards to cars I’ve noticed these days because people seem to have quite conveniently forgotten the laws that California had that all manufacturers had to produce electrical vehicles.

      Under the zero-emission mandate in 1990 (which manufacturers were pissed about), 10% of all new cars sold by manufacturers in California had to be ALL-Electric by 2003. This actually started manufacturers producing All electric suv’s and sedans in California as well as a conversion craze due to a tax credit at the time (Though it was (and is) apparently hell to register those conversions with the DMV) were produced and sold quite well. They also had some damn decent performance being that they were effectively pure-torque. There were even reports of people getting whiplash because they pressed the accelerator too hard due to their accustomed usage of a conventional combustion engine.

      This was well over a decade ago. Over time, that law has, like all laws related to regulation of an industry as of late, been whittled down more and more so manufacturers which sell in California (which still to date has the most strict emission laws in all of the USA) are required to produce and sell less and less electrical vehicles. The last slice was in 2008.

  7. trey says:

    and the Volt dies before anyone even plugged it in!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Why? People buy cars far more expensive than the Volt every day. There will be early adopters who don’t think $41,000 is too much.

      • trey says:

        because i said so… is that good enough for ya? go do some math.

      • donkeydonkeypublicbathroom says:

        Sure, but do they buy Chevrolet mid-sized sedans everyday for that price? That’s the kicker. Besides the motor being all electric, what other expensive perks will be included? I personally wouldn’t pay that much for a sedan unless it was crazy loaded and much easier on the eyes.

        • Brian Cooks says:

          Yeah if the Volt looked like the concept car I’d consider it, the concept vehicle looked badass. It would also have to have 3g always on connectivity. Charging stations for my cell phone and ipad. Maybe a jack to plug my laptop in. Non shitty GPS, most GM cars integrated gps is pretty terrible.

      • mac-phisto says:

        here’s why: “hmm…should i buy this puny 1.5L car that will save me a bit gas money OR THIS AWESOME 6.2L 422-HP MUSCLE CAR for LESS money (which incidentally also gets about 25mpg)?”

        what was that? i can’t hear you over the rumbling of my flowmasters.

        seriously though – remember when the honda accent first came out? a tiny hybrid coupe priced at about $25k? honda hardly sold any of them b/c they were way too expensive. sure, they’ll sell a handful, but that doesn’t do anything to move us toward a mainstream electric auto option.

  8. grucifer says:

    Looks like a boat, probably drives like a boat.

    No way for $41k, not even for low 30’s with the government tax credit.

    • dadelus says:

      Go look up some of the driving tests. One comment that keeps coming up from people who have driven it is how suprised they are at the handling. Due to the low center of gravity caused by the battery postion it handles more like a sports car then most would expect.

  9. jayde_drag0n says:

    5 digits is too much for a car period

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      So $10,000 is too much for a car?

      • drizzt380 says:


      • fredbiscotti says:

        ^ What she said.

      • bigTrue says:

        yes. I’ve never owned a car that was more then 6 grand and I’ve always bought them outright. No payments and my required by law PLPD insurance runs about 60 bucks a month.

        I never understood paying 150-300 dollars a month for a car that I don’t even own and then have to pay 100+ dollars a month to insure. So, basically more then I’ve ever paid in rent to drive something brand new. No thank you.

        • nbs2 says:

          If $400/month is more than you ever paid in rent, I suggest you move out of your parent’s place.

        • Michaela says:

          My family just saves up for new cars. I mean, with a little time, smart spending, and some good saving, we got 2 new cars without having to take out a loan. We just wrote the dealership a check and went on our way.

    • trentblase says:


      There, only 3 digits now.

    • Anonymously says:

      I agree. I’ve been driving around the same $8,000 car for the past 8 years.

  10. Muddie says:

    This is the ideal car to lease.

    Firstly, the lease price ($350/month after $2,500 down) is decent.

    Secondly, the type of person that would own this car — people that drive > 50 miles per day — would not be penalized by mile overages most likely. I mean, this won’t be your road trip car for sure.

    So, to buy, it’s really out of range but to lease, I’d say it’s worth it.

    • Billl says:

      Ummm… $350/month is reasonable? a 3 year lease will cost $15100! Pat, I’ll take the Chevrolet Aveo for $9999 and I’ll take the remaining $5101 and pay for 10 years worth of gas.

      Volts for Dolts!

  11. merkidemis says:

    30K would be a nice sweet spot after credits, I think, provided the equipment level is up to snuff. You can get a loaded Mazda3 for like 25K, so adding 5K for the battery and motor isn’t too far off. Again, assuming all the bells and whistles are included.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      That is how I see it. A loaded Prius is $34k. The Volt currently is the only choice in this segment and some people may want the ability to go purely on electric for running to the grocery store. Maybe they want to buy American.

      I think they will sell more than the people on here think they will. The freaking Leaf is the same price as a base Prius, but is worthless beyond the city limits and is already “sold out” according to Nissan. At least I can take a road trip with the Volt.

  12. Jayhovah says:

    Out of 100 People, how many do you think will choose the Volt over the Vette? The way I figure, my carbon footprint will be about the same.. as I will not be driving the Vette nearly as much with all the time I will have to spend entertaining my new lady friends.

    I’m on a horse.

  13. c!tizen says:

    Maybe if was spec’d out like KITT, complete with front sweeping LEDs and a cool voice to greet me when I got in.

    “Good morning Michael, my sensors indicate that you’ve been ripped off in your latest vehicle purchase, would you like me to drive you off a cliff?”

  14. Bohemian says:

    I have noticed that everything GM makes is grossly overpriced for what it is and vs. the same car type by other manufacturers. If I am going to spend $40k on a car I would probably go for a real luxury car like a Benz. I don’t think their target market is luxury priced car buyers either. Most people interested in the Volt were looking at it for environmental reasons or because the cost electricity instead of gas would negate some of the price.

    • Jack Handy Manny says:

      I agree. Auto makers in general fail to recognize that consumers can’t afford to buy cars outright and can’t afford a $600/month car payment either.

      It would be helpful if these electric cars also solved the problem of having to pay for electricity. A nice solar battery for your house would help with the price tag if I knew I would pay next to nothing for a charge. Not paying for gas isn’t good enough…electricity costs money too.

    • polizzi82 says:

      I agree– we shopped around heavily for a vehicle with 3 rows of seats, the Chevy Traverse was plasticy and more expensive than the Ford Flex and almost twice the cost of the Kia Sorento.

    • QuantumRiff says:

      Just wait till they come out with the GMC version of the volt.. It will be more expensive for reasons nobody can explain.. Then the Buik version, the Saturn Version, the Saab version.. etc..

    • matastas says:

      $40K? Benz? No. Not unless it’s used.

  15. NahWukkers says:

    It’s almost as if they don’t want loads of people to buy it …

  16. Scooter250 says:

    If a $29000 Prius gets 50mpg for 100000 miles at $3 a gallon the total price is $35000. If a $33500 Volt gets 100mpg for 100000 miles at $3 gallon the total price is $36500. Hard to say if that is what you will get in the Volt. It could be better or worse depending on your driving habits and cost of electricity to charge the battery at night. For a $1500 difference it kinda comes down to which car you like better

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Forgot to include the cost of the electricity you consumed at your house to charge the car.

      Not to mention the spread on the amount of interest most will pay between the two car notes.

      • Scooter250 says:

        I am not saying this car will cost less yet but at $1.50 for a 40 mile fill up you will spend $3750 for 100000 miles. At $3 a gallon with 50 mpg in a Prius you will spend $6000. The savings will be even more from your 30mpg or 20mpg car. Give it a few years of price drop we will all want these batteries in our cars.

    • dolemite says:

      Now do it with a $15,000 Ford Fiesta that gets 40 mpg for 100,000 miles = $22,500. The winner is clear!

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      I like where you are going, but there’s another factor — you get 50mpg on a Prius without plugging it in. (Well, I seem to be stuck around 46, but I kinda drive like an ass.) Assuming it takes some household current to get that 100mpg, how much does your electrical company get *in addition* to the gas?

      I guess it doesn’t matter, since it only widens the gap shown in your calculations. And, in states where auto insurance doesn’t take mileage into account, the pricier Volt will initially be more expensive to insure. The only possible mitigating factor I can imagine is if — if! — the Volt’s batteries last longer.

  17. Blackadar says:

    They overprice it and will watch the vehicle fail miserably. Then they’ll claim that the public doesn’t want electric / alternative fuel cars and need to go back to making gas-guzzlers to try to get the latest MPG requirements lowered.

    • obits3 says:

      But I thought that they were doing this out of the goodness of their hearts…/sarc

    • NahWukkers says:

      I agree – it’s almost as if they don’t want people to buy it.

    • TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

      ^ This

    • Snoofin says:

      But nobody DOES want a small, slow car that will kill you if you get in an accident because its so small with the exception of the smug environmentalists that think us regular people are monsters. South Park had it right

    • wanpakumono says:

      I am amazed that alternative fuels like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are not discussed at all. This is a fuel that is readily available in the US and is very clean. I know that there are some roadblocks (infrastructure, EPA approval among them), but this technology is here now and you don’t have to ride in a “sardine can” to take advantage of the benefits!

  18. GuidedByLemons says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the car is expensive to build and is priced fairly compared to production costs?


    The price will come down eventually, and I’d be happy to buy a used one (or another plug-in hybrid in the same vein) for $15-20k a few years down the line.

    • dolemite says:

      Well sure, and that is the case.

      Now, why doesn’t someone make a 1.2 liter turbo diesel with hybrid assistance that gets 75 mpg and costs 16k? The tech for it exists in almost every company out there. No R&D really required.

    • RDSwords says:

      It occurred to me that the car company can jack the price up to offset the tax credit, and then turn around and try to sell people on it at the dealership because there is a big credit to be had.

      I’d be extremely wary about buying a used electric vehicle due to the cost and shortened lifespan of the battery system. you may buy it just in time too face a huge expense to replace worn components.

      • ARP says:

        Prius batteries are getting 125k to 150k miles. I know a lot of cars that fall apart or need significant repairs at this point.

    • Buckus says:

      In a free market, the cost to produce a good is irrelevant to the amount one can successfully sell that good for. Even though a hot pink Corvette might have a $10,000 paint job, you’re going to have take a wash on that paint job if you want to sell the car. Similarly, do you really think it costs Coach $500 to produce a handbag? Probably $50, maybe $100 at best if they’re using real Italian labor.

      What’s the point? Oh, Supply and Demand. Priced too high, there will be no demand for this vehicle (or very little) and then GM will kill it citing a “Lack of demand” (I see it coming in five years.) But lower the price to $20 – $25 and I bet demand picks up.

      • GuidedByLemons says:

        “In a free market, the cost to produce a good is irrelevant to the amount one can successfully sell that good for.”

        Nope. If demand is too low to support manufacturing costs for a product, that product doesn’t get manufactured (for long). If a car costs $35,000 to manufacture, market, and sell, and you sell it in volume for $20,000, you will lose an unsustainably enormous amount of money. A run of tens or hundreds of thousands of automobiles is not going to work as a loss leader.

        “Even though a hot pink Corvette might have a $10,000 paint job, you’re going to have take a wash on that paint job if you want to sell the car.”

        Exactly. So you don’t build/paint/stock the Corvette in the first place, because you would have to blow $10,000 on the paint job and take a huge loss. You’re in business to make a profit selling cars, and if a particular model is hugely unprofitable then you’re not going to have any interest in producing it.

        “Similarly, do you really think it costs Coach $500 to produce a handbag?”

        No, I sure don’t. I also have no earthly idea why you think this is relevant to the discussion at hand. Luxury goods have huge profit margins. Yawn.

        “But lower the price to $20 – $25 and I bet demand picks up.”

        If McDonald’s lowered the price of a Big Mac to 10 cents demand would go through the roof! Think of how many Big Macs they could sell and take a loss on at 10 cents each!

    • Fair&Balanced says:

      The price is so expensive because they build it in a union facility in Detroit which requires you to hire 3 people to do the work of 1 person.

      Buying the volt is just a way to subsidize people to work 1/3 as much but get full pay.

    • craptastico says:

      i think $350/month for a lease is reasonable. personally i’m very against leasing cars b/c i think it’s a suckers game, but with new technology like this i think i’d rather rent than own. if the tech doesn’t catch on who knows how hard it’ll be to replace one of these batteries in 8 years.

    • proliance says:

      When a car is expensive and unwanted by the general public it should be shelved until a better version can be designed and built.

      But in America we give tax credits to people who want to flaunt their ecological superiority, and do so on the backs of each tax payer.

      I’m still pissed that I had to subsidize cars in the Cash for Clunkers program. And with the average salary of a hybrid buyer at $100,000, why am I now paying to give a $7,500 tax credit to help them buy a overpriced, short-ranged new car?

  19. pengajim says:


  20. Narmical says:

    All new technology enter the market at a high price point. There were people who bought $1000 VCRs. In a few years the same kind of car will be cheaper and will go further on a charge. So yes, the money spent by the impatient will fund the $15,000 version I will buy in the coming years.

    The plugin hybrid idea is super cool. Imaging never going to the gas station again except for road trips?

    • Bkhuna says:

      That’s right, it’s the big honkin’ power plant that gets to burn the fossil fuels before it comes out of the plug at your house or charging station.

      Now, when they make cares that use liquid hydrogen and liquid oxyten fuel cells, I’ll consider it. Or even a nuclear powered fuel cell. But a car that plugs in is all smoke and mirrors.

      • ARP says:

        The dirtiest most inefficient power plant in the US is more efficient than an ICE due to their scale, environmental law, and the general desire to get a much power as you can from your fuel source.

      • aaron8301 says:

        I don’t know where you get your electricity from, oh arrogant assuming one, but around the Pacific NorthWest, we get it from the rivers and wind that are FREE, INFINITELY RENEWABLE, and don’t pollute A SINGLE BIT.

        And I hear in sunnier places, they get electricity free from the sun.

        There is NO NEED WHATSOEVER to burn fossil fuels to power the grid. The sun always shines, the wind always blows, and rivers always flow.

        • bbf says:

          I declare a Class 1 “Smug Alert!” ;-)

          Ever notice why there aren’t any more HUGE salmon runs on the mighty Columbia river where at one time one could literally cross the river on the backs of the spawning salmon?
          Yep, your “non-polluting” Washington dams were the major cause of the destruction of the Columbia River Salmon Runs.

          There are no “no-impact” energy sources, they all just have different trade offs and some are more environmentally friendly that others.

          Although Washington State gets most of its electricity from hydroelectric dams, in 2007 about 74%, the rest is mainly from conventional “polluting” sources:

          Electricity Market in Washington, Share of Electricity Output, by Fuel, 2004 to 2007
          Year Coal Hydroelectric Natural Gas Nuclear Other
          2007 8 74 7 8 4
          2006 6 76 7 9 3
          2005 10 71 8 8 3
          2004 10 70 8 9 3
          Source: EIA Survey 923, “Power Plant Operations Report” and Predecessor Forms.

          Re: the Columbia Salmon Runs From


          In recent years, coho, chinook and steelhead have been returning at some of the highest numbers since the construction of federal dams beginning in the 1930s. Those changed the once-wild Columbia and Snake rivers into a series of slackwater lakes useful for barging goods but unfriendly to salmon.

          “People are trying to get it right, as best they can,” Peterson said. “But the Columbia is never going to be like the Columbia as it was.”

          Despite the recent good returns, over a dozen runs of salmon and steelhead remain on the federal list of protected species. None are expected to come off the list anytime soon.

    • Scooter250 says:

      At $1.50 for a 40 mile fill up you will spend $3750 for 100000 miles. At $3 a gallon with 50 mpg in a Prius you will spend $6000. The savings will be even more from your 30mpg or 20mpg car. Give it a few years of price drop we will all want these batteries in our cars.

  21. rpm773 says:

    Who killed the electric car?

    The guy with the price gun.

  22. Bkhuna says:

    I wouldn’t pay that kind of money for anything made by GM. Besides, it’s even uglier than the Pious.

  23. tedyc03 says:

    Given the newness of the tech, I expect the price will drop in the future.

  24. akacrash says:

    I think it’s the wealthy people who want to come off as ‘green’ who are the key market for this. If you sold a tiny electric econo-box in the 20K range, it would fail on multiple fronts.

    I do think it’s expensive, but there are people who are willing to pay to feel like they’re “making a difference.”*

    *They’re not, btw. Electricity has to come from somewhere. Usually from something that’s burned, and then transferred (at a loss) over power lines, and transferred again at a loss to the vehicle. Unless your area gets power from hydro or nuclear, this isn’t tremendously better than a regular car, and probably not better than a hybrid.

    • Orv says:

      Typical power plant efficiency: 46%. Distribution efficiency: ~95%. Total efficiency: 44%

      Efficiency of a gasoline car engine: 25%

      • Billl says:

        96% distribution efficiency is just flat out wrong. Read National Geographic; they published a big study of this in the last year…50% efficiency on electrical distribution.

    • kenbennedy says:

      you can speak for yourself, my electricity comes from 100% renewable sources, and I live near Washington DC, not on a farm with wind turbines

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I agree – where is all this extra electricity supposed to come from? We can’t build new nuclear power plants, people howl over using oil, gas, and coal, and no one wants wind turbines in “their back yard”.

      I live in PA, and just last week it was very hot, and our power company requested that everyone use as little electricity as possible between 4 – 7 PM to prevent brownouts. What do you think would happen if everyone plugged these cars in at the end of the day??

      • Orv says:

        Most people would be plugging their cars in to charge at night, when A/C runs less and demand is naturally lower. It would probably actually make the grid more stable, by lessening the load difference between day and night.

  25. dolemite says:

    I’ll admit, you get a lot of tech for your money.

    You don’t get much value for your money though. This will save you about $500-$800 a year on gas, vs buying something like a Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta. So basically, it will take you around 30 years to make back the money in gas savings. After 10 years, you’ll probably have to buy new batteries too, which would make that more like 35 years+.

    Small compact car: $15k = $1100 a year in gas (at 15,000 miles and $3 gas)
    This: $41K = hard to determine gas and electricity costs. Let’s just go with $400.

    Now, what is the insurance difference per month on a $41,000 hard-to-repair car?

    • WordTipping says:

      You hit the nail on the head.

      It gets worse if you consider buying a used car. If you bought a 3 year old full sized sedan for $17,000 you would have enough money left over to buy gas for the next 5-7 years as compared to the Volt. You would also be more eco-friendly as a used car will have a smaller carbon footprint than the Volt over the expected life of the car as you are not incurring the carbon cost of manufacture of the new Volt or production of electricity.

      To me, electric vehicles have a long ways to go. Right now they are firmly in the purview of people with too much money who want a salve for their eco-guilt.

  26. heltoupee says:

    Yes. Absolutely. The value proposition just isn’t there for that kind of price. For that price (even after the tax credit, which you won’t necessarily see all of), I could have an inexpensive Korean car that ticks all the same boxes feature-wise, handles and drives at least as well, doesn’t have the heavy and expensive secondary electric powertrain and associated batteries, and have Fifteen THOUSAND dollars in the bank to buy gas with.

    Here’s what I’d do. Go all electric. Pull out the gas motor. Pull out the generator. You’ve just saved 750+ pounds, reduced the initial cost of the vehicle as well as the maintenance costs, and increased your range. Spend all the extra money you saved on building out charging stations at as many different gas stations as you can. Do the R&D to make the car charge to 90% in 10-15 minutes (I can buy consumer grade batteries at Target that do this). Now, the initial outlay for the vehicle is only a couple grand more than the Kia special — easily covered by the tax credit. YOUR charging technology has been built out all over cities and towns across the country — you can license that to your competitors, making sure they help your buildout while taking the bigger, tastier piece of the pie for yourself. Finally, when someone comes up to the gas station in your car, and pays a fifth of what someone with the Kia special does to “fill up”, and didn’t pay much more for the vehicle initially, you’ll have won.

    Now, you’re going to say “I can’t take it on a road trip”, or something like that. I’ll say, take your Tahoe. At 33 grand for a subcompact, you’re targeting upper-middle class family folks that already have 1, 2, or more cars; 1, 2, or more kids. There’s a family people-hauler next to that Volt in the 3-car garage attached to the three-to-six-hundred-thousand-dollar home that the owner(s) occupy. The Volt, to 90% of buyers, is what we call “Conspicuous Environmentalism”. Just like in Hollywood, when stars only drive their Priuses when someone important is watching, only on a smaller, Suburban America scale. Target that same demographic at first. Undercut all the hybrids, instead of making another one. You’ll end up ensuring your future instead of just dipping another toe in the ‘hybrid-car pool’.

    • denros says:

      Ok, I agree with you but not for the same reasons. First – the “90% in 10-15 minutes thing”. If they could, they would. Lots of problems with this, but in short, we either need batteries that (currently) would cost as much as a helicopter, or deal with batteries a-splodin’ on a weekly basis.

      nonetheless, it’s probably somewhat competitive over the life of the vehicle, depending on where gas prices go, but more importantly for GM – they WON’T sell that many of these things- but they will learn how to make their next model much, much cheaper. And learn about how people use them, and maybe come to conclusions like the one you mentioned about removing the generator. If I were GM, I’d be giving people the option to “opt-in” for anonymous data collecting, give them a couple years free maintenance or something, and use that to keep the software efficient and reliable, and for planning on future vehicles.

  27. target_veteran says:

    You could say it’s $41,000….

    Or you could say it’s a third the cost of a Tesla (after tax credits).

  28. NoRegrets78 says:

    The problem is going to be charging this thing. Plugging it in on Long Island will most likely be more expensive than buying a sedan of the same size, with the same features, for 10k less and filling up with regular gas.

    • ARP says:

      It has an engine that turns on after the batteries run down. It’s has a total range of a few hundred miles.

  29. TouchMyMonkey says:

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again. GM is counting on a buyers’ revolt to put the kibosh on this sort of thing once and for all. I don’t care to hear about how much GM spent developing the Volt; it doesn’t matter. It’s still a sham, a “see, our customers don’t want this” car to justify GM going back and making inefficient turdmobiles like they’ve been doing.

    If they were really serious about going this way, they’d have developed a gas engine optimized for use as a generator rather than just pulling one off the shelf. That is what is known in engineering circles as a shortcut, and if I’m spending forty large on something as mundane as a midsize family sedan, I don’t expect there to be cut corners like everything else GM makes.

    And why 1400CC? Why not 500? Surely you don’t need that much power to regenerate a battery that might hold, uh, 8 kwh at most. I base this on the fact that the Nissan Leaf’s battery holds 20 kwh, and has a range of 100 miles, while the Volt’s electric-only range is only 40 miles. 40% of 20 is 8. Now I might be a bit unfair in my estimate, since the Volt has to lug around that ICE wherever it goes, but that just leaves less room for batteries, so that ‘s probably a wash.

    And the Nissan Leaf’s price is in the low twenties, even without the tax break. Sure, I can’t go coast to coast in it, but I can still get to work if I forgot to plug it back in one or two nights in a row, where I’d be wasting gas if I had a Volt. And besides, if I did need to go coast to coast and didn’t feel like flying, I’d use my wife’s car.

    So no, I will not be standing in line (yeah, like there’ll be a line) to throw down 41 large on a Chevy. No effin’ way.

    • Orv says:

      Yeah, but when the Leaf runs out of power, you’re stuck. The Volt has the added capability (and expense) of an engine. Also, Nissan is only leasing the battery, so if they decide they don’t want to renew the lease, what’re you left with? An expensive lawn ornament.

    • Orv says:

      Also, you’re underestimating the Leaf’s price. Before the tax credit it sells for $32,780.

    • ARP says:

      Yeah, I don’t really get this. They could have taken an off the shelf generator and remodeled it to fit in a car chasis. It would have been smaller and more efficient. They could have used the extra room for more batteries.

      I think they’re shy of the all-electric sweet spot of about 80 miles. At that range, you cover most people’s round trip work commute and have a little left over for the A/C, errands, etc. so that its rare that you would use the ICE, except for road trips or longer days of errands/commutes.

    • prizgrizbiz says:

      “Revolt”. Amusing.

  30. MovingTarget says:

    If I ever get back to work, I’ll be looking for something a lot cheaper. Till then I’ll keep my 96 Saturn going.

  31. Zen says:

    What a rip-off!
    You can get a pretty nice Honda Civic getting more than 25 mpg for around $20,000. Where’s that extra $21,000 dollars going. Gas? Even if a driver drivers his new 2010 Civic Sedan for the next 150,000 miles around the city getting 25 mpg on average with gas prices at $3.40/gallon on average where he lives, he’s still not going to be able to drive $21,000 worth of gas through that car in it’s lifetime…

  32. tinmanx says:

    If I’m getting American, I rather get a mustang. The base v6 gets 305HP and 31MPG. That’s 3x the HP and about the same gas mileage as my little Honda Fit!

  33. RyGuy1152 says:

    From what I’ve read, a lot of R&D has gone into this car. That fact, plus a battery that costs about $15,000, means that Chevy has to put a large price tag on this thing. Wait 2-3 years and the price will come down considerably.

  34. keepher says:

    Considering there is no middle class left to buy them they’re liable to sit on the shelf collecting dust unless the rich spend the big bucks to get one of their own as a pet.

  35. Rachacha says:

    I have been interested in the Volt since it was first announced several years ago. It is the perfect car for my commute, and the fact that it has a gasoline engine to charge the batteries makes it possible to drive on long trips very conveniently. I would like to see one in person before I made a decision and do some research on the life expectancy of the batteries (and the expected replacement cost), but I think they need to get the list price down to at least 37K so that the consumer price after rebates is below 30K. Hopefully the dealers don’t start selling this car over list price like they had done with the Corvettes and Camaros due to the high demand.
    This price has not killed my interest, but it has diminished my enthusiasm.

  36. guroth says:

    It might be worth it if the car looked like the original concept:

    Too bad they made it look like some cheap Hyundai

  37. Green Mountain Boy says:

    They purposely overpriced it so it will flop. Guaranteed.

    • Orv says:

      I’m not so sure. I think it’s this expensive because it has a lot of new technology. Toyota is willing to take a loss on every Prius they sell, but GM just got bailed out and can’t afford to be seen doing that.

    • Scooter250 says:

      Just like those original $500 iPods.

  38. Orv says:

    Call it the Apple iCar. People will line up for blocks to buy it at twice that price.

  39. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I can’t afford a $25,000 car so it’s ALL too much for me. If I did have the money, I think I’d wait a bit and see what bugs/problems there are with the car, fueling, etc. before taking the plunge.

  40. AlexTNOA says:

    Why not get a Leaf? The reviews are already looking pretty good, and it’s $25K after government incentives.

    • Rachacha says:

      The problem with the Leaf is after about 100 miles you need to recharge it for several hours (4-8). With the Volt, you can run indefinately stopping only briefly to refuel with gasoline on long trips. The Leaf might make a great commuter vehicle, but as an exclusive vehicle it is simply not practical until the technology exists to refuel in a few minutes.

  41. Scuba Steve says:

    The average person would balk at the prospect of paying $41,000 dollars for a car. However, there’s a lot of people who are richer than average, and make poor choices in automobiles.

    This things not going to replace the Civic or Camry. It’s not going to replace the hummer or SUV. So its not going to sell, plain and simple.

  42. TheGreySpectre says:

    People who were expecting it be any less have never looked at the price on large battery arrays. You are looking at 10,000-20,000 for the battery pack alone then you have factor in the cost of the actual car.

    I don’t know how the interior looks but at least road noise wise it will probably be significantly quieter then a good deal of luxury cars due to the nature of its electric engine.

    It really inst that much more expensive then any other luxury vehicle. As long as they put nice innards in it and market it as a luxury sedan it is priced appropriately. If you think we are going to get a sub 20k electric car anytime soon then you are delusional.

  43. ThunderRoad says:

    This (type) of car has been my dream for years. Electric car with a generator on it for long-distance range. No fuel infrastructure required.

    Now, put in a 4-cyl turbo algae bio-fuel diesel generator and we’ve got a great type of car for the future that would easily get 100+mpg.

    This is why big oil will kill it.

  44. golddog says:

    Yeah way too much. They should’ve hit up the Feds for some stimulus money to subsidize the consumer cost for the first 3 years or something if they actually wanted to move more than a couple thousand units to get enough volume going to get production costs down.

    And speaking of 3 years, I never trusted ANY car company’s first 3 years of a new model or major model revision. It took them that long to work out all the kinks. With all due respect to the fine workers of the UAW and their robot slaves (not so much respect to their engineers), GM’s cars sucked when they were making a profit. I can only imagine how much they’re gonna suck when they’re new AND demoralized.

  45. NumberSix says:

    Seems too high.

    How long would it take for you to realize the cost savings in gas over the premium you pay for this car vs. a TDI or other fuel efficient gas only car? Seems like it would be longer than the car is likely to last.

  46. PDQ2 says:

    I hope it’s well equipped for that price. A base Cadillac CTS sedan with the 3.6L engine starts at $41k. I can drive it as far as I want and I don’t have to plug it in to recharge it.

  47. SphinxRB says:

    A decent car with good options will run a little over $30K anyway. So with the tax credit, it’s just slightly over. I’d get one if I were in a position to get one. The 5 year free OnStar is worth around $1200 alone also.

  48. donovanr says:

    What about the gas tax? There is a glaring error in the electric car math. As batteries / solar power / motors are all getting better the future of the electric car is solid but let’s go forward a few years and assume 100% of cars have gone electric and are powered by solar or something cheap. In theory that should cut your gas bill to practically 0. But wait a second what about the gas taxes that make up nearly 50% of the price at the pump? Do you think that the various levels of government are going to let that go? They will find another way to squeeze it out of us. Road taxes, odometer taxes, or whatever odious tax they can find to replace the lost gas tax revenues.

    Thus 50% is the most we will all end up saving even if the cars are powered by magic.

    What features I am looking forward to is silent cars that drive themselves.

  49. VOIDMunashii says:

    And then when it doesn’t sell for $41k, they’ll moan about how no one wants an electric car and discontinue them. Not the most subtle of plans to kill the electric car, but it will work.

  50. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Nonsense, that’s a perfectly affordable price! GM should sell at least a hundred of them.

  51. jurupa says:

    Why do I have a feeling of a repeated of the GM EV1 here? But this time the general public is paying for this gag? The car is way over priced by 10k. I can understand high 30’s for this, but not 41k. I might as well buy a BMW 1 series or something if I am going to spend that much money on a car.

  52. edrebber says:

    Most electricity is generated by burning coal. Why would you want to pay twice as much for a car that is powered from burning coal?

    • ARP says:

      because burning coal is still much more efficient and produces less pollution than an ICE. If you’re lucky enough to live in areas where they use renewable sources, there’s even less pollution.

  53. JANSCHOLL says:

    I have always had GM cars. Every two years or so. But they just priced me out. And its not an electric car, its a hybrid of sorts. I want 100% electric or 60+ mpg. Both are attainable. Build it and I will buy. But 25G is my cut off for pricing. Guess I will be holding on to current car, ya think?

  54. Not Again says:

    For that price I’d rather buy two Corollas, over an overpriced government owned car manufacture’s that is just “not bad.”

  55. duffbeer703 says:

    Actually, it isn’t that bad of a deal. GM claims that the average driver drives less than 40 miles, a day 80% of the time and that the recharge cost is about $1.50/night.

    So in a best case scenario, over 5 years and if you drove 40 miles/day you would put about 72,000 electric miles and 18,000 gas miles on the car. With $3 gas and 25mpg for driving with the gas engine, your total cost per mile (excluding sales tax, insurance, maintenance) is $0.43/mile.

    A hypothetical gas car that costs $25k, gets 25 mpg and is driven 90,000 miles would cost about $0.40/mile.

    I assumed low mileage numbers based on my experiences, as I mostly drive in a city, resulting in poorer mileage. Obivously the comparison depends largely on your driving habits… but I was surprised that the Volt wasn’t a complete rip-off in this scenario.

  56. Kevin says:

    Yep, that’s about 50% more than what people are going to want to spend on this vehicle. It needs to be priced to compete with the Prius and Insight.

  57. spindle789 says:

    Yes. This ends today’s “simple answers to simple questions.”

  58. Hands says:

    Given my past experiences with GM, five cents would be too much to pay for any of their cars.

  59. Akuma Matata says:

    GM still can’t figure out how to build a car people want to buy. On top of it, I’m glad even more of my tax money is going to subsidize people dumb enough to buy this car.

  60. Extractor says:

    Is $40G to much for a Volt. Yes
    Paid $30g in ’00 for Camaro SS. Still in beautiful shape with 136k miles with 2 overlapping warranties on the drivetrain. Gets 22 mph at 75-95mph and top down.
    Im waiting till 8/15 to possibly win a vette and if that fils Im waiting til 2015 to replace 2 cars, not the SS. To me 2015 will be the right time to replace a 2005 Acura and a 2008 Impala. BTW everyone use synthetic oil, Valvoline has a 300,000 warranty and need to sign up with them and Mobil 1 has a 15k warranty per quart of oil. Read everything on those websites especially the fine print.

  61. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    $41k is definitely too much for me but I’m willing to bet there will be a waiting list to buy one of these.

  62. nosense22 says:

    At ~$30K-$35K, this will be a niche product. Hopefully (for all US taxpayers), Chevy will be able to get more scale in manufacturing these and will be able to cut $10K off the price.

  63. Southern says:


    Honda. CRX.
    52 MPG.

    Chevy Sprint.
    53 MPG.

    If they could do it 25 years ago, they could easily do it today.

    • Battlehork says:

      Right, they could far exceed those numbers if they were allowed to build cars as light as those with the same low power figures. However, safety regulations essentially force them to build cars that are far heavier. Also since people “can’t” accelerate slowly.

    • Orv says:

      People expect more safety, creature comforts, and acceleration from cars than they did in the 80s. Look at a modern compact — it weighs almost twice what a compact car used to. That’s because of crumple zones, airbags, A/C, sound deadening, etc. Then to get it all from 0 to 60 in less than 20 seconds — which is what people expect — it needs a bigger engine.

      If you built a CRX HF now it wouldn’t pass federal safety standards, and it wouldn’t sell. People would complain it was unacceptably noisy and underpowered.

  64. Brian Cooks says:

    You’re getting a $20,000 car at best for 41,000. Yeah it’s way too much. If law makers want people to adopt electric cars they either have to be SUB $20,000, or gas has to get so expensive that 40,000 for a 40 mile range looks attractive.

  65. will_o_wisp says:

    This is very frustrating. I try to be environmentally conscientious but then companies put an obscene mark-up on anything that is environmentally “friendlier”.

    I am going to be remodeling my kitchen and I was looking into recycled glass counter-tops, they are actually MORE expensive than granite. It’s the same thing here.

  66. legolex says:

    I think it’s too much, especially if you have to pay out of pocket for the charging station like the Nissan Leaf. I wouldn’t pay $41k for that, I’d go for a used Prius.

  67. ARPRINCE says:

    At that price, the VOLT will not get a thunderous applause from me!

  68. UnicornMaster says:

    I think it’s priced NOT to sell. They can say “we tried” like they did in the 80’s but not really. If they REALLY wanted to innovate they could make one in the 18-20K price range and sell a bajillion of them.

  69. smo0 says:

    Alright… it’s time for the “you’re either a part of the solution or a part of the problem.”

    They are, officially, now … a part of the problem….

  70. Winston says:

    Holy Christ are you pretty! Red heads are my kryptonite. Have a good day!

  71. axiomatic says:

    For $41000 I can get a bad ass Infiniti G37 Coupe with all the bells and whistles. So that’s an aggressive YES the Volt costs waaaaaayyyyyy to much.

    Your average conservationist types are generally frugal beyond reason. Asking them to part with $41000 is going to be a tough sell for an unproven device.

  72. Fenrisulfr says:

    Is $41,000 Too Much For A Chevy Volt? Yes. It is too much for any domestic vehicle.

  73. MikieJag says:

    This is what is killing the market for electric or semi-electric cars. The 15k markup. That is a lot of gas to make the vehicles even. There have been a few places that compared the “devil” Hummer vehicle to a Pruis and found that on average the H3 was cheaper to run in the long term, then the Pruis.
    Quick napkin numbers – $3 gallon – 40mpg vs 10mpg (Pruis/Hummer) .08 vs .3 per mile. Which is about a quarter per mile savings, the cost per mile which is about 60k miles before breaking even or maybe 4 years.

    The extra cost does not really come back to the average consumer until many years down the road. I think it will end up being a toss up, pay more now or pay more over the life of the vehicle. Time will tell of course and these numbers only take into account a 15k price premium over a hummer. I did not take the time to actually spec out a hummer, but it could even be worse if you take a small Honda civic or a small Ford, then you have the 15k premium plus the cost differential of the car itself.

    I don’t want alternate vehicles to fail, but before they can really go main stream, you need to sell them to the average family of 4 when they go to the Chevrolete lot and look at a Volt and a Chevy Malibu. If both are about the same, no brainer, but Malibu 30k and Volt 40K….What do you think they will pick?

  74. Sean says:

    I think this will be a commercial flop. For $22k list, you can get the excellent Toyota Prius; the $19k price penalty of the Volt would more than outweigh any “energy efficiency” superiority claimed; it would just make financial sense. In addition, the $41k price would only be available to the rich, who would probably prefer a Lexus and couldn’t care much about being “economical” in gas; even worse, for those rich that do wish to make a statement about being “green” they should take into account the total environmental, energetic and carbon footprint of MANUFACTURING, COAL POWERED electricity and DISPOSAL OF TOXIC chemicals.

  75. chimpski says:


  76. deleted2 says:

    I drive a used Prius and that was expensive enough. No way would I pay R41K for an electric car, despite a $7500 tax credit.

  77. hosehead says:

    Chevy Volt or:
    – loaded Acura TL
    – base Porsche Boxster
    – a pair of Volkswagon Golf TDIs, one for weekends one for weekdays (comparable equivalent MPG)

  78. Capa Romula says:

    It’s amazing how quick people are to make assumptions about who will buy this car.

    I signed up to lease one. I can cover the 36 months by selling my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid.

    I’m not rich. I’m not trying to wear my green credentials on my car badge.

    I love the entire notion of an electric car. It’s an incremental step towards a cleaner future.

    The electricity may come predominantly from coal now, but until we separate gas and automobile, it will never even be possible to run our cars on alternative energy sources. Once we’ve got plug-in cars, we can then deal with the power generation problem.

  79. TehLlama says:

    That prices it on par with an Audi A3TDI, or for half the price you can get a Jetta TDI with the same powerplant.
    Comparable range, the VW group offerings are far and away superior vehicles with drastically less environmental impact.

    Way to go government motors – us chicken littles who proclaimed that you idiots would try pushing ill conceived vehicles that don’t match up with market demand has now been given a veracity even I never expected!

  80. CapZap says:

    It’s too expensive. I predict Volt will fail. The Nissan Leaf, at $32,500 ($25,000 after tax credit) is priced right. And, here in Oregon, we get an additional $1,500 tax credit. The Volt is another instance of GM’s design by committee failures.

  81. nerble says:

    Wow, that’s not even including your now 4 digit monthly electric bill from charging your freaking car.

  82. pkrbacker says:

    Another stellar GM decision. (at business meeting) “Uhh…we’ve spent so much on marketing and development that we need to set a price at 41,000.” Who in that room said “wow, that is such an amazing deal!” Wouldn’t you rather buy a 3rd gen proven Prius (i wouldnt buy either) for about half that? No wonder this company is failing!

  83. Craig B says:

    I wouldn’t buy the Volt at any price. General Motors, like Microsoft, has a habit of releasing products before they are worth buying in the long run. I fully expect GM to have a massive recall of the Volt for some reason – probably related to the battery. My bet is on the Nissan Leaf.